Bagged on GoG today and had a blast. Needed some fiddling to get my X52 Pro up and running since the game only supports _one_ Gamepad but that’s nothing that would stop my 😂

Video: Flight tutorial snippets from Rebel Galaxy Outlaw played on Linux PC

Yesterday I tried various ships in StarCitizen (some “free” event). I launched at Everus Harbor, a station orbiting Everus. When I tested the Dragonfly Black it became old fast circling around on the small landing pad so… why should I now attempt an atmospheric decent instead?

(Sorry for the extra shaking – I had my DIY headtracker on :D)

StarCitizen – Dragonfly Diving (on Linux PC)

Tried to run SteamWorld Dig2 from GoG. It just died with this:

ERROR: ShowErrorMessage: Failed to initialized OpenGL extensions (GLEW), error: Unknown error

This is from my understanding a fixed bug in GLEW on Wayland but requires an update of that lib – which is probably not gonna happen any more.

Fun enough we can work around this by starting it with SDL_VIDEODRIVER=X11 ./Dig2 under Wayland, with from my understanding invokes|provokes XWayland and brings us back to Wayland. And since I want to play this on my couch with my Steam Link I added the game to my library and set it’s start parameters to SDL_VIDEODRIVER=X11 %command% – Et voila…

Fly Dangerous 5.0 was released and it is packed with new features like reflections on the ship, Steam leaderboards and ghosts! So you can basically race against yourself or others from the leaderboards!

As usual I gave it a spin and had a blast.

First things first though. The Linux version defaults to OpenGL and this resulted in like 25 FPS for me and the input of my X52 Pro (mapped as XBOX controller) was so laggy that I could sip coffee during each course correction. This was when I remembered the magic parameter -force-vulkan from other Unity games and from here it was smooth sailing. Eventually I ended up with the game start options obs-gamecapture for recording, mangohud for some FPS info and -force-vulkan for… well, FPS.

obs-gamecapture mangohud %command% -force-vulkan

As usual YMMV.

The flight mechanics changed a little bit and @jayleefaulkner explains this in great detail in the video Alpha 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2sn26HVY7o so I’m having a learning curve ahead of me… again!

Anyway, I’m not doing too bad after some rounds. Only issue left is that I can not disable the flight assist for some reasons. Probably a bad binding but I was eager to play so I went with it.

Fly Dangerous (on Linux PC) – with Vulkan

Oh and did I mention that this little gem is still for free and even opensource?

The last update has been a while. I focused my attention to the MFDs (Multi-function display). This part didn’t get much attention yet and I was caught between the difficult choice to learn yet another fancy framework, like Raylib, that would do OpenGL ES 2.0 without X11 on the Raspberry – or just throw the might of my CoffeeLake at it and go with ReactJS since most of the data was already available via NodeRED anyway. Also… ARWES is just so cool 🤩

I went with ReactJS and ARWES again, simply because I have some experience in this by know thanks to my Streaming Overlay I wrote with it. Hobbling it up to NodeRED was just a matter of installing SocketIO to transport the messages. It’s all a very hacky mess but it gets the job done.

Video demonstration of my simulated cockpit made from cardboard on a budget mainly used to play Elite Dangerous in early 2022. This is work in progress.

While seeking through the available data I noticed that I don’t get velocity values from Elite. That’s not so important in space but _kinda_ interesting for me in planetary flight to satisfy the flight sim gamer in me as well. I noticed tho that I do get timestamped latitude, longitude and altitude values so shouldn’t it be possible to “simply” calculate this, right? Right?

This was when I dived into the rabbit hole of calculating velocity and heading on planetary objects using a spherical coordinate system and while I didn’t nail it exactly how Elite does it the result is close enough. The game provides the required data to go crazy here – most important the radius of the current object. In _theory_ I could start writing some primitive AFS (Auto Flight System) routines now, which I’m totally going to explore at some point in the future just because 🤓

Checking my maths – yes, altitude is added to the mix so velocity is mostly correct as long as no rapid course changes are made

After spending way too much time with this and the Pythagorean theorem (Yes mum, a game made me do maths. MATHS! 🤯) I settled with some calculations and data for my current ship to the right and targeted ship data on the left. This is sort of tricky because many game events update different parts of the data so timestamps have to be kept in mind and a game specific parsing strategy is required. See the last part of the demonstration video to get an idea how this looks.

Improving situational awareness by putting the video feed of wingman / gunner on the central MFD.

Another point to tick off my list was getting the head tracking to work in Elite (again). Now this is very Linux PC specific so you may tune out on this paragraph. On Linux PC I’d usually compile Opentrack with the Wine Glue, patch in my appdata dir for Proton and hope that it’s still ABI compliant to Just work™. Alas recent Proton is sandboxed within pressure vessel and the usual approach of memory mapping is simply no longer working, if I got the gist of this right.

So my _current_ strategy is to download and drop the Windows build of Opentrack into the game folder and chain-load the EXE with the game where the Opentrack EXE would listen on UDP while my native Opentrack BIN would send via UDP. A task not made easy with Proton but it is possible. The following snippet may give you some pointers:

#!/bin/bash
export STEAM_COMPAT_DATA_PATH=/games/steam/steamapps/compatdata/359320
export STEAM_COMPAT_CLIENT_INSTALL_PATH="$HOME/.steam/steam"
python3 /games/steam/steamapps/common/Proton\ -\ Experimental/proton run opentrack.exe

Why running Opentrack twice? The native build performs a lot better with my webcam and every frame really count here. Reading data via UDP is not much of a burden for Proton. This also saves me the trouble of fiddling with Wine Glue, a painful compile process nobody should endure involving installation of many many additional 32bit libraries. Hilarious but it works.

Behind the scenes recording so you get the idea of the setup followed by some Star Citizen gameplay:

DIY headtracker and Simpit and Star Citizen gameplay (on Linux PC)

In use:

* A Linux PC
* A DIY Headtracker
* A DIY Joystick “Primary Buffer Panel
* A X52 Pro HOTAS
* 3 Cameras + Recording Software
* An AMD RX5600XT in tears
* …a Beko learning How To Fly in SC xD

So you _still_ think you can’t space pew pew on Linux PC? Think again. I do it all the time: https://beko.famkos.net/2021/10/16/space-pew-pew-on-linux-pc/

I sure am playing a lot of space pew pew over the last months. Took a lot of screenshots too and it’s kinda hard not to drown my timeline with screenshots every day. Today I sifted through the pile and found a bunch I’d like to share (some again) so here is a little gallery of (mostly) space simulation games I play on my Linux PC. And I’ll keep making that point until I can browse the web without getting daily reminders by random strangers claiming that gaming on Linux PC is not possible. Cuz it is.

Added on 5th January 2022 and played with whatever Lutris thinks best. I really was going to hold out on Star Citizen a little longer but I got it as a gift to my birthday. My GPU is definitely at it’s limit here. Will probably have to give it some more time. I mean it’s Alpha and all but hey, it _does_ work.

This I play mostly under Proton with the Primary Buffer Panel whenever possible. It’s just the most fun this way (kids love it too).

 

The more recent X series have native Linux builds but work also perfectly fine with Wine.

 

Both run via Lutris and with Proton-GE and usually with my DIY Headtracker.

 

FlightGear runs native on Linux and Fly Dangerous does have a native Linux build but due to an issue with terrain generation being single threaded I use Proton for this one too until this is solved. No Man’s Sky runs perfectly with Proton.

I play all of the above with my X52 Pro H.O.T.A.S. and some with my DIY headtracker stretched over three displays in a so called multihead setup. Let me know if you’ve any questions how this can be set up.

The year was 2005 and I was playing Codename: Gordon, a 2D sidescroller set in the Half-Life lore, using Macromedia Flash Player run via Wine on Linux.

Apparently this game can still be installed by any Steam user with the command steam steam://install/92 because it was part of the freebie package “0”.

…and no single Proton was in sight 😛

Ymmv.